On the Straight and Narrow – MAN Trucks take Electric route

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With a three-fold strategy, MAN Truck & Bus is now also putting its trucks under electric power. Sales of the newly developed MAN eTruck began 30 October, with the first units rolling out to selected customers in 2024. The in-house production of battery packs at MAN’s Nuremberg site plays an important role in the electrification strategy.

At the new M50 battery building, up to 100,000 high-voltage batteries will be manufactured there in large-scale production, from 2025, in particular for the new MAN eTruck, dedicated long-distance transport, but also for powering city buses and, in future, coaches. The long established Nuremberg engine plant will continue to play a central role as MAN’s center of excellence for alternative drive technologies.

“The mobility shift toward electrically powered road haulage is changing the entire industry in an unprecedented way. MAN is actively helping to shape the change. Our transformation into a provider of sustainable and intelligent transport solutions is visible everywhere in the company. With the efficient realignment of the company and the sustainable conversion of the entire production network, we have made a major leap toward the future in the last two years. The market launch of our new MAN eTruck  is an essential milestone in this regard, and batteries from Nuremberg are the key enabler for its large-scale production from 2025,” stated  MAN Board Member for Production Michael Kobriger.MAN has already started construction of the battery building. Up to now, batteries have been produced at the site in manual small-batch production. In the future, 350 new jobs will be created on a total area of just over 16,000 square meters, as well as inter-linked assembly and logistics facilities. The development of large-scale battery production, including the new building, involves investments in logistics, infrastructure, buildings and production facilities totalling around €100 million.

By the end of 2024, the first customer vehicles will still be served from this small series, before the batteries from the new large-scale production will be available from 2025 for the electric truck production in Munich, which will then also be ramped up in large quantities.

To ensure that electric trucks can replace today’s diesel vehicles as quickly as possible, MAN’s top priority is to ensure their unrestricted practicality right from the start of series production. To this end, MAN established its own transport company, LoadFox Transport Solutions GmbH, in December 2022 in order to test and optimize the new technology in real-world operation on common internal plant logistics routes at an early stage. Since the beginning of October, the first fully electric MAN eTrucks have been operating between the German sites in Munich, Dachau, Nuremberg, and Salzgitter. At a later date, transports to the Polish sites in Krakow and Starachowice will be added. In addition to the intensive use of battery-electric vehicles in real factory traffic, LoadFox will also increasingly integrate autonomous driving functions into logistics practice from 2024. “Through the targeted collection of data and experience in practical use, we can significantly accelerate the development and quality checks of hardware and software for future products and services with LoadFox,” added Florian Hagemann, Managing Director of LoadFox GmbH, explaining the advantages that result from the innovative concept for product development.

Thanks to its preparation for the megawatt charging standard, which is expected to be available from 2025, the new MAN eTruck with 6 x 480kWh batteries, will achieve daily ranges of between 600 and 800 kilometres, suitable for long-distance transport, and in the future even up to 1,000 kilometres with just one intermediate charge during the driver’s 45-minute break from driving. But the new MAN eTruck will also easily cover most of the other typical transport tasks of today’s trucks, such as low-noise and emission-free waste disposal in the city or collecting milk from organic farmers with an electric food tanker.